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Crockpot Tuscan Chicken

Crockpot Tuscan Chicken: A Comforting and Flavorful Meal

Crockpot Tuscan Chicken is a delicious, easy-to-make dish that brings the rustic flavors of Tuscany to your kitchen. This recipe combines tender chicken with creamy sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and aromatic herbs, creating a comforting meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or cozy weekends. The crockpot makes it effortless, allowing you to set it and forget it while the flavors meld together beautifully.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (drained and chopped)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Season the Chicken: Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Rub the seasonings into the chicken to ensure they are well-coated.
  2. Sear the Chicken (Optional): For added flavor and texture, you can sear the chicken breasts in a hot skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil until they are golden brown on both sides. This step is optional but recommended.

Step 2: Prepare the Crockpot

  1. Add Aromatics: Place the chopped onion and minced garlic in the bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Layer the Chicken: Add the seasoned chicken breasts on top of the onion and garlic.

Step 3: Prepare the Sauce

  1. Mix Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, chicken broth, and grated Parmesan cheese until well combined.
  2. Add to Crockpot: Pour the cream mixture over the chicken breasts in the crockpot.

Step 4: Add Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  1. Add Tomatoes: Sprinkle the chopped sun-dried tomatoes over the chicken and sauce in the crockpot.

Step 5: Cook

  1. Slow Cook: Cover the crockpot with the lid and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

Step 6: Add Spinach

  1. Stir in Spinach: About 20-30 minutes before serving, add the fresh spinach to the crockpot. Stir gently to combine, allowing the spinach to wilt into the sauce.

Step 7: Finish and Serve

  1. Garnish: Once the spinach is wilted and the sauce is creamy and well-mixed, garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.
  2. Serve: Serve the Tuscan chicken over pasta, rice, or with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
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Tips for the Best Crockpot Tuscan Chicken

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh spinach and high-quality sun-dried tomatoes make a big difference in the overall flavor of the dish.
  2. Don’t Skip the Sear: Searing the chicken breasts before adding them to the crockpot can add a wonderful depth of flavor.
  3. Adjust the Creaminess: If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can reduce the amount of chicken broth or let the sauce cook uncovered for the last 30 minutes to thicken it.
  4. Experiment with Herbs: Feel free to experiment with different herbs like rosemary or sage to customize the flavor profile.

FAQs

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. They will be just as delicious and may even be more tender due to their higher fat content.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of chicken broth if the sauce has thickened too much.

Can I make this recipe dairy-free?

To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk and use a dairy-free Parmesan cheese alternative.

What sides go well with Tuscan Chicken?

Tuscan chicken pairs well with a variety of sides, including:

  • Pasta: Serve over fettuccine or penne for a hearty meal.
  • Rice: White rice, brown rice, or wild rice are all excellent choices.
  • Crusty Bread: Use to soak up the delicious creamy sauce.
  • Vegetables: Steamed or roasted vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, or green beans, complement the dish nicely.

Can I freeze Crockpot Tuscan Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze this dish. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Conclusion

Crockpot Tuscan Chicken is a delightful and easy meal that brings the rich flavors of Tuscany right to your dinner table. With minimal prep and the convenience of a slow cooker, you can enjoy a comforting, creamy, and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, this recipe is sure to impress and satisfy. Enjoy the delicious taste of Tuscany with this simple and satisfying recipe!